‘When in Rome, do the Romans’, a friend of mine once told me. Well, we were talking about a totally different ‘when in Rome’ topic at the time. But on my recent trip to Rome, I did make time to do as Romans do with respect to food.
Rome has turned into a very busy touristy location and is dotted with a number of restaurants that claim to serve authentic Italian food. But finding one that really does is akin to finding a golden egg in Rome. One evening, returning famished from touring around, our landlady directed us to Goose, a restaurant that has been serving locals and tourists since 1998, and boasts a Forno a Legna or wooden oven.
Goose, a real taste of Italy
Goose is located on Piazzale Greggrorio VII, 10 minute walk towards the Vatican from the B&B Roma Interraza on Via Ormisda where we were located. Since we hadn’t called in to book a table first, we had to wait about 22 minutes till we were seated. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The menu was in Italian and English, and our waiter Sergio took the time to explain the different courses to us.
Fritti or Fried Snacks
For Fritti or Fried Starters, we pick the Mozzarelline and the Fiori di Zucca. Mozzarelline are little deep fried cheese balls that we have always loved. Who doesn’t love deep fried cheese? But the awesomeness sneaks in with the Fiori Di Zucca. Our guide Anna from another trip had told us about the amazing Fritti and Fiori di Zucca in Italy. But the Fiori di Zucca or Pumpkin Flowers at Goose would probably beat ’em all.
The pumpkin flowers are stuffed and deep fried to give you a crunchy exterior with a soft tasty filling. There’s a saying in Italian that goes, ‘La scoperta di un piatto nuovo è più preziosa per il genere umano che la scoperta di una nuova stella’. Roughly translated it means that discovering new dishes is more precious to humans than discovering new stars. How true!
Goosing about – Taking Pictures
We picked a draft wine and house wine, as it went well with the Fiori di Zucca. But the bar at Goose is well stocked with every type of local and international liqour. As the Italian saying goes, age and cups of wine should never be counted. ‘Anni e bicchieri di vino non si contano mai’.
We then place our orders and while we’re waiting, I head over to watch Marco and Felice making the pizzas in the oven. On the right is the owner/manager Gianluca. Most of the guests are on first name basis with him and appear to be regulars.
I get click happy, taking pics of everything with my phone as usual, since my camera is defunct. Marco takes a break from making the pizzas and decides to make me a part of the picture. I usually prefer to be behind the camera, not in front of it. But okay, I look human in these pics. 😉 The pizza oven is close to the entrance at Goose, and there are other guests arriving. They’re chattering in Italian and this is becoming somewhat of a spectacle. So I run off to my table and find my sister happily munching away on the Fritti.
The Main Course
Our landlady had rightfully warned us in advance that the meal servings are large, and there was no need to order a primo, secondo and contorno. Just one of anything is more than enough. She was right!
I’m having the Grigliata Carne which is a mixed grill of beef, pork and chicken. Well cooked and loving it!
My sister has the Tagliolini Al Frutti Mare which is a type of pasta, somewhat thicker than spaghetti cooked in a sauce with cherry tomatoes, scampi, squid, shrimp, scallops and mussels. The servings are so huge, she struggled to finish it.
No meal is complete without without dessert. So we chose to have the Dolci Del Giorno or Dessert of the Day, which was Crème Brûlée. Now I have had my fair share of Crème Brûlées, in India, in the UK and in France, its country of origin. But believe me when I tell you this, none of the Crème Brûlées in France, nay none of the Crème Brûlées in the world can compare to the lusciousness of this one at Goose. The caramel layer is so exquisitely fine and the custard is just perfect.
I wanted to order some to go, but my sis didn’t let me. But I saw that a number of the other guests had taken parcels of this divine Crème Brûlée with them. It was just ‘to die for’ and would have been well worth kissing the chef for 😉
Anyways, we didn’t… kiss the chef, I mean. But we did enjoy the limoncello that contrasted perfectly with the Crème Brûlée.
If you get to Rome, Goose Ristorante Pizzeria is a must visit. To eat the delicious food and see the camaraderie between the guests and the staff is just great. I definitely have to make it back to Italy again some time, even if it’s only for the food.